- Among employers' biggest worries is having prepared emergency communication plans for natural and manmade disasters. However, they're also concerned about being able to notify workers quickly of cyber breaches to lower the risk of extensive damage, according to an OnSolve Crisis Communications & Emergency Notification Survey by the research firm DRG. Of the more than 300 business decision-makers who took part in the survey, 57% use Emergency Mass Notifications (EMN).
- Key survey results showed that 44% of respondents cited severe weather as their chief concern regarding emergency communications and response capability, followed by active shooters (22%), cybersecurity attacks (15%), IT outages (12%) and workplace violence (8%). A quarter of the respondents said their biggest challenge was notifying workers in multiple locations of emergencies. Businesses also want two-way communication with workers during emergencies.
- When asked which cybersecurity threats in the workplace concerned them the most, respondents said malware (63%), ransomware (63%), phishing (59%), business email (54%) and rogue software (33%).
Emergency preparedness is critical for the safety of the workplace. Some employers have a notification and evacuation plan and a public address system for an immediate response, but many may not be prepared to communicate with disparate workers across the organization. All organizations should have an emergency preparedness and communication plan and make sure employees are aware of it and what to do when disaster strikes. Employers can find a quick guide to emergency preparedness here.
Cybersecurity issues are increasingly an HR issue, too, as a strong cyber defense usually begins in the company culture. Only 5% of organizations in a Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) report think their organizations' cybersecurity cultures are as advanced as they should be to protect against internal and external threats. Company-wide communication and training are needed and more critical now, especially with the rise in security breaches.
Technology has helped employers notify workers of disasters, thanks to smartphones and EMN. Employers can send workers life-saving alerts at any time, whether through public address systems, text messages or phones. Employers should make sure all workers are included on the notification list and alerted at the same time. They also should make sure that communication meets the needs of employees with disabilities, non-English-speaking workers and those in various locations.